Researchers at Queens University in Belfast have made a major breakthrough in the treatment of prostate cancer.

The scientists have already begun trials with patients after discovering a way to tackle an advanced and aggressive form of prostate cancer that has spread to bone.

Although it is considered one of the more treatable cancers, prostate cancers causes major problems for patients when it spreads to the bone and is accountable for over 500 deaths every year in Ireland.

Now the team at Queens University has discovered a safe method of treatment that allows doctors to combine chemotherapy and radiotherapy to tackle the cancer when it is different locations.

The specialist who has led the study told the Irish Examiner that the discovery is a significant development in the fight against prostate cancer.

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Dr Joe O’Sullivan, consultant and senior lecturer at the Centre for Cancer Research, said: “Traditional chemotherapy treatments aren’t always effective in treating aggressive and advanced forms of prostate cancer, so we needed to develop a new treatment which will provide better outcomes for patients with this type of cancer.

“While this combination treatment still has to go to phase two of trials, to know that this combination is safe and feasible as a treatment is a huge step forward.”

Around 2,500 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer in Ireland each year.

Trials using the Queens method of treatment are underway in Britain and the Netherlands with 100 patients involved.